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How Did You Begin?



  • MurphybearMurphybear Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If you have a good gardening centre locally it can be useful for advice and they have a better selection of plants and seeds.  We have a large one literally a few minutes away and the staff are brilliant and very knowledgeable.  Many of them have been to agricultural college, they are not just employees.

    I have a gardening book that gives a month by month account of what jobs to do and what plants to buy throughout the year.  I also have Alan Titchmarshes books which are very good for novices.

    Thompson and Morgan and good for plants  and have lots of excellent advice.
  • edited 8 May 2021 at 10:57AM
    ApodemusApodemus Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 8 May 2021 at 10:57AM
    Thompson and Morgan and good for plants and have lots of excellent advice.
    Our views on T&M clearly differ!  I'd say: "Thompson and Morgan used to be good for plants and used to have lots of excellent advice but were taken over and now have really poor customer service."  :)    https://www.gardencentreretail.com/acquisition-thompson-morgan-bvg-group/
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
    4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If you want neat and tidy make sharp square beds, a pattern if you can to make it interesting.
    Do box balls with some pinks and evergreen coloured leaved plants around that grow in neat clumps but give some colour all year.
    Heuchera gives colour all year and grows neatly.
    With Pinks as a contrast in leaf colour. The larger ones with the old fashioned flowers is more rain tollerant. The small ones can rot off.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

    57 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I like growing things and making the (small) garden look pretty but based on the idea that before gardening existed, plants grew because birds pooed the seeds out, I mainly use the "chuck it and see" method of gardening.  It seems to work most of the time.  I have got a few fruit trees, flowers etc that grow in the summer.  In the winter most things are dormant, which is fine by me because the last thing I want to do is venture out in the freezing cold or when storm Brenda is approaching! :-)  Honestly, I would just buy what you like the look of, use a few plants, try a few seeds and experiment.  There is no wrong way to do it; if it doesn't grow, try something else!  As the price varies a lot, I tend to use shops like Home Bargains, B&M and Wilko who offer much better value!

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
    35.4K Posts
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    It's also worth looking around your area at what plants are doing well in other gardens.
    If you see the same things growing in several gardens, you'll know those plants will do well in yours.  Take pictures and ask your local garden centre to identify them for you. 
  • Working_MumWorking_Mum Forumite
    543 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    I started with pots by my front door, layering a few spring bulbs at the bottom so they came through as if by magic ;)

    I took over an established garden in my old house so I learned what my garden orientation was and then strived to understand what was already in place - maples, elephants ears, clematis, Mexican orange blossom, laurel, smoke bush, camellia, ferns, spring bulbs, laburnum, maple trees, rhododendron, peony, red hot pokers......to name but a few! I had almost 20 years of joy looking after that garden with quite a few blunders along the way. 

    I tended to buy from cheap supermarkets as my budget didn't allow for any huge expense!

    I moved last year and I brought loads of pots with me which by then included self seeded Rowan and silver birch. I have had to "re-orient" my gardening to suit my new garden but it is taking shape nicely.

    Good luck with it all, how exciting for you
  • elsienelsien Forumite
    30.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    @Davesnave, horticulture magazine through the post in a plain brown wrapper? 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • edited 20 May 2021 at 7:33PM
    DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    34.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 20 May 2021 at 7:33PM
    elsien said:
    @Davesnave, horticulture magazine through the post in a plain brown wrapper? 
    Wouldn't even last me 1/2 an hour. :( I've got Beechgrove going back years on repeat prescription, but when symptoms get really bad I reach for a clip or two of Geoff Hamilton. He was the Monty Don of his day and a particular favourite with the ladies. Indeed, in this clip he's sharing his Hartley Botanic with a blonde, and as you'll see, she's not averse to a bit of gritty surface dressing either! ;)  That's very effective with the slow germinators....
    Warning for the easily offended: there is mention of hormones.
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